In the heart of Masuria, 2011

So far, we visited the north (Wegorzewo) and south (Ruciane) of the Masurian Lake district. This year, we want to try out the middle of it: we charter a boat at the Mikolajki charter base.

We arrive there, take over the boat, pack our stuff out, and fall to the berths. There is no sleeping tonight however: the tourist center Mikolajki throws a loud party. We do not have these in the village where we live!

Next day, we set ourselves Jora as a target. We sail north, tacking in the Lake Talty against the wind that gets stronger and stronger. The clouds get darker. We decide to search for a saving shore earlier rather than later. The shore here with high, strong trees will protect us well. So to the shore we go. The boat gets secured, with her bow on the beach and the anchor from the stern, and we visit the Jora restaurant next day on feet. The gray weather does not invite to sailing that day.

After the weather clears, we decide to sail to the southern areas, where there are not so many tourists. The Lake Nidzkie is a quiet area, where driving under motor and loud music are forbidden. Thus we sail through the sites known to us from our sailing training – now our elder son, Jeremi, is taking his sailing lessons there. He hardly sees us, concentrated on the training. Thereafter, we spend a couple of days in the quit zone, without using our engine – even harbor maneuvers were done under sail. We had to try again on occasion, when a side wind blew us off course when we tried to reach a marina box. A lesson for the later sailing: always watch for the wind direction and use the wind, rather than fighting against it.

Then we have to sail north again, in the direction Mikolajki – the end of our charter draws near. We stay for a night in Wierzba again – there we meet Tomasz and his crew of five. We decide to sail into the big Lake Sniardwy together next day. This lake is broad but shallow. It makes no fun sailing it – the wind picks up and reaches the very dangerous (for a small Masurian sailboat) 4 Bft. We shorten the sails, but soon we give up and head for the landing site that Tomasz knows and which is quite well protected in the reed. A party together makes spirits much higher in the evening.

Next day we sailed down the unpleasant wind to Mikolajki. The last evening on the boat was with guitar and singing and with our new friends. This was so nice, but as it later appeared, this was our last evening so far in the Masurian Lakes.

The Lakes are unbelievably beautiful. They offer a variety of landscapes and a change between nature and good infrastructure. We spent nights in harbors, on the beaches, and under trees. We have weathered storms in the reed. We were frustrated by the tourist flux that grew each year, but each year we also met nice sailors.

We also wanted to grow our sailing expertise, thus we started „high sea“ sailing in Croatia.